Hua Phan or Houaphanh is a charming province in the east of Laos, and also a friendly home to various ethnic groups. Traveling to this off-the-beaten-track destination, people feel like they’re stepping into a new found world where ethnic culture meets with the natural beauty.
About Hua Phan
Situated in the eastern Laos, Houaphanh Province is one of the greatest destination for ecotourism and ethnic culture experience. The province is encompassed by Xiangkhouang Province to the south and southwest and Luang Prabang Province to the west. It shares the international border with Vietnam to the north, east, and southeast. About the local terrain, it is mountainous and forested, especially in the western corners. It’s sure that this destination is perfect for any trekking journey through the rugged mountains and dense forest.
What to see
The first and foremost landmark in Houaphanh must refer to the mystic Viengxay Caves. This is one of the world’s most magnificent underground constructions, with the capacity of 23,000 people. It covers a spacious network of caves employed by the Pathet Lao.
The name of Viengxay means “the Hidden Cave City” where used to function as the shelter for 20,000 people lived during the Pathet Lao Liberation Movement (from 1964-1975). The extensive cave system includes the facilities of office, hospital, school, temple, market, and even recreational center. Of course, these facilities are simple and neat, just enough to support the local life during a hard time.
Hintang Archaeological Park
Houaphanh owns the dramatic scenery and archaeological values. The Hintang Archaeological Park attracts the travelers to cherish lots of prehistoric remnants and learn about the far history of Laos in this region. The archaeologists and like-minded people might value the short visit to this old site much.
In this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos, you can confidently expect for the 2,000-year-old standing stones (called menhirs in the Laos language), and the antique megaliths. This is one of the most significant prehistoric sites in Laos that none wants to ignore during their travel to Houaphanh. The standing stone pillars are the symbolic masterpiece of the old time that appeals to the modern learners.
Wat Pho Xai (or Wat Pho Xaysanalam)
Nestled on the outskirt of Sam Neua provincial capital, the revered Wat Pho Xai is the notable religious venue for both the residents and newcomers to visit. The Wat lets you discover the exceptional spiritual life and belief of the local people. While its architecture is extraordinary, the spiritual value preserved in the temple needs respecting. The moments in Wat Pho Xai becomes peaceful and calming indeed.
Nameuang Hot Springs
Another must-see landmark in Houaphanh refers to the picturesque Nameuang Hot Springs. Situated in the valley of the lush rice fields, the hot springs offer the spectacular and refreshing views to feats every eye. This is the favorite picnic spot for the young locals and the backpackers. People admire the intact and captivating charm of the hot springs. While some are ready to jump into the transparent water, the other prefer sightseeing it, breathing the fresh air, and enjoying their lunch in the dramatic settings.
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